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Open mike 19/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 19th, 2022 - 142 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

142 comments on “Open mike 19/08/2022 ”

  1. This is Russia's last ever war as a unified power. Putin's nationalistic paranoia has destroyed a potentially great nation. When he pops his clogs it will probably fragment into a bunch of smaller territories. He is so desperate that he's trying to bribe women into having more babies. And he's a gobshite hypocrite to accuse the USA of attempting to destabilise Taiwan & Ukraine.

    Vladimir Putin revives 'Mother Heroine' cash bonus for women who have 10 children – NZ Herald

    • mikesh 1.1

      I'm inclined to think that any woman who has ten children probably deserves a cash bonus, whatever their nationality.

      The US is not trying to destabilize Ukraine and Taiwan. It is trying to destabilize Russia. Ukraine and Taiwan are simply a means to that end.

    • tsmithfield 1.2

      It will take a very long time for them to replace all the equipment they have lost. And their demographics are against them in terms of raising future armies.

      • Blazer 1.2.1

        They still have hypersonic missiles and their nuclear capability is not…diminished.

  2. Peter 2

    Dr Sharma couldn't be tracked down earlier in the week when the most important meeting about him was to happen.

    He had a very busy schedule, he had things on. Now he's on RNZ, he's been on Newshub and I see he's on Hosking.

    He's on a crazed campaign, before he's on his bike.

    • Jimmy 2.1

      He was never going to turn up as his argument is, it was a kangaroo court and the decision had already been made in the 'secret' meeting the night before.

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        This is obviously a tricky situation and apparently Sharma has had his lawyer involved for some time, which I’d do to if I were in a tricky spot with my employer. It makes perfect sense to have a meeting to discuss internally the options and possible outcomes before two parties in a dispute meet up. When there is a highly or most likely option it doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a predetermined option & outcome – parties should meet in good faith. However, if one party doesn’t give the other one any other realistic options it may indeed look like it was predetermined from the outset. By not showing up it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus a fait accompli. To have a leg to stand on, rather than spinning it to suit your narrative, you must follow (due) process and show good faith.

        • LibertyBelle 2.1.1.1

          All of what you say is correct, however Sharma is citing the (recorded) conversation with a fellow MP as evidence that the decision WAS predetermined. I can only see two alternatives: Either that MP completely misread the discussion in the Monday meeting, or the outcome was indeed determined at that meeting.

        • Jimmy 2.1.1.2

          If Sharma has proof it was pre-determined in the secret meeting that he was not invited to, then the second half of your comment is pretty much irrelevant.

          • Incognito 2.1.1.2.1

            Either you cannot read or you cannot think, or both. If he decided it was pre-determined and acted accordingly, then he forced the outcome to meet his pre-determined expectation. The fact that there was a special meeting set up for and with him strongly suggests that there were still things to discussed and decided. He failed to attend and thus signed his own fate. My question is whether this was reasonable process and whether this could have been handled better by Labour knowing that he’s in a spot of bother, mentally, at least.

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2.2

            Lol "secret meeting." Is there any organisation that wouldn't get relevant people together to discuss what to do about the loose unit who's shitting on them in the media? As for "pre-determined," the only thing surprising there is that they didn't immediately give him the boot.

            • Shanreagh 2.1.1.2.2.1

              As for "pre-determined," the only thing surprising there is that they didn't immediately give him the boot.

              This is what makes me doubt the 'other' MP or the tape. The other MP says that the Monday meeting had predetermined the outcome and they were going to give him the 'whack',

              Instead we find that the actual decision by Caucus and reported by the PM was to suspend him from the Labour Caucus, provide a way back and time for this to occur and mediation.

              I am wondering if Sharma's mole misread the tenor of the Monday meeting because I find that what came out after the Caucus meeting on the Tuesday, is far from giving him the whack.

              Instead it seems that the function of the meeting was in fact to provide a safe and non-leaking space to express concern & disappointment at their colleagues actions and these will no doubt have been feisty from some.

              The other option, other than misreading the tenor of the meeting and/or the function of the Monday meeting and how it relates to the Tuesday caucus, is that the Sharma's source is as lacking in knowledge about process and nuance as Sharma himself.

              PM has said that Sharma has misread what his colleague was saying.

              .

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      The thing is, we've all had to deal with a Gaurav at some time or another in the workplace. The guy who has lost the plot. Got a job he wasn't suited for and has popped a fuse. You might be the HR manager who inwardly sighs when he turns up with his lawyer and 100s of pages in his dossier, knowing you are going to have spend two days a week for the next six months to get rid of the guy. Or you might be the union rep, who has to sit through his diatribe sixty four million times before going to the meeting with the HR manager and fight his corner (been there, done that). Or his line manager who has to meticulously document ever interaction with him. Or his direct reports, who do everything to aviod and not engage and generally keep away from the guy who has lost the plot. Or just a colleague, who smells the taint of dissent and just wants to enjoy his or her job in peace. Once you've lived a while, we will ALL have been around a Gaurav.

      Now the fact of the matter is he has lost the plot. That I think is a matter of obvious public record. Being egged on by a salacious, partisan media looking for scandal and breathlessly reported on by lazy court journalists from the press gallery, who like all courtiers thrive on court gossip and preen at being consulted doesn't help anyone but there you have it. The central question then isn't Dr. Sharma's rationality – he is clearly irrational, obsessed and operating with all the bad faith one would expect to come from that – but what led him to lose the plot, which leads us to consider his accusations. Which is all they are. Accusations. He has not offered a shred of evidence to back up his increasingly outlandish claims. The latest "explosive revelation" is he was forced (FORCED, oh the inhumanity!) to attend a workshop (practically the same as the Gulag!) where new candidates were coached on how to avoid OIA requests. Forced to attend a workshop. I mean, for God's sake man get a grip. Words just fail me.

      Until he does get some actual evidence then in the great court of public opinion (in the algorthim driven Herald site his story vanished almost immediately) he has, IMHO, been pigeon holed with that Gaurav we've had the misfortune to deal with at least once in our lives at work.

      Sad to see, should probably never have got the job, pretty unfortunate all round, all a bit embarassing, avoid at all costs in the lunch room, thank God he is gone, hope he does well somewhere else, let's hope they recruit better next time.

      • LibertyBelle 2.2.2

        FYI…todays latest on this is the #2 story on the Herakd on line as of right now.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.3

        Brilliant Sanc. Says it all.

        Have you seen the Australian TV series Utopia? It superbly satirises the type of scenario you describe above.

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.4

        That's very much the impression I get too. When I was working in Kuwait we had a Gaurav who, when HR finally did manage to fire him, got pissed that night and chucked a concrete block through the rear window of the boss' Trans Am. Jacinda Ardern should probably count herself lucky she doesn't own a sports car.

      • Kiwijoker 2.2.5

        yes

    • Anker 2.3

      going down in a blaze of glory. Someone needs to give him Jami-Lee's number

  3. Chris T 3

    Putting aside the truth of the dudes claims. Labour are looking like they are a vindictive bunch of shits who couldnt run a bath.

    Just agree to an independent inquiry..

    The reason they refuse to obviously even more shifty stuff they are trying to hide

  4. Reality 4

    Jimmy, if your assertion the decision had already been made, self-centred Sharma deserved it by his behaviour to his party and colleagues and former staff. Some self-reflection by him towards simply getting along with people is badly needed. He seems to have no idea about working co-operatively. Right from the start of his entering Parliament he has been difficult to deal with.

    • Visubversa 4.1

      Hopefully, by now his Parliamentary "colleagues" have learned that anything they say to him is likely to be recorded and used by him with or without their approval. Also that any personal correspondence to him, or which he has access to will also be publicised by him if it suites his narrative, We saw this earlier in the week when Darien Fenton sent him a personal message suggesting how he might get assistance. He then published it and Darien was subjected to hours of trolling by the usual suspects. The man is coming across as having a very well tuned sense of his own importance and of his own victimhood. Neither seems to rest on firm foundations.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        If they can be bothered to dig back far enough (and they won't) they would probably find he has done it before. Those types usually have. And they are very good at playing the victim and turning the innocent party or parties into the perpetrators.

        • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.1.1

          There would be a trail of broken egg shells his unfortunate contacts would have been treading…worriedly.

          • Peter 4.1.1.1.1

            Any of his colleagues would be wary, should be wary of him. What they say could be turned into evidence against them and their party.

            The upshot of that? He'll call the shunning 'bullying.'

        • Bearded Git 4.1.1.2

          Good point Anne.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.2

        An accomplished Narcissist …with, as usual for that type, no care for the consequences of such. Even to themselves !

        • Anne 4.1.2.1

          Oh no. They care for themselves.

          In severe cases, they will go so far as to commit crimes such as stalking, unlawful entries to property and other misdemeanors in order to maintain control over the life of the victim. Making serious allegations (sometimes anonymously) against the victim/victims is another favourite tool. That ensures everyone is concentrating on the victim/victims and not on themselves.

          I don't believe Sharma is anywhere near that level, but they exist and some manage to get away with it for a life-time.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.2.1.1

            Oh god, sorry…. I of course, was forgetting you have had some quite "up close" involvement with those kind of swine.

            And yes I do also see Sharma as maybe a lower order variety. Those who have known him..will probably be breathing relief that he didnt go as far on them ?

            • Anne 4.1.2.1.1.1

              "I… was forgetting you have had some quite "up close" involvement with those kind of swine."

              Their behaviour adversely affected the Labour Party in the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s. Unfortunately I did not know they were the culprits at the time. However that is the reason they later targeted me. Like all guilty parties, they were paranoid I might figure it out and the motivations behind their antics. Quite a story it is. Puts Sharma and co. well into the shadows. 😉

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                Quite a story it is

                Hi Anne. Seems it was both bad that you had to undergo this…BUT, good that you had your Wits..and obvious Fortitude to best them !

                Maybe one day tell your story….

          • Patricia Bremner 4.1.2.1.2

            Exactly Anne, "Look at them, meeting without me" "Look at Jacinda lying"

            Does he ever look at his own behaviour? Even for a moment? Yes, and he believes "I have done nothing wrong" "I am not the bully"

            Sadly, he has accused someone of misappropriation of funds, which turned out to be a travel allowance. Did he apologise?

            He wanted someone sacked, it appears an inquiry found against him, and he interpreted that as undermining his authority, which he did not have to begin with.

            Now he is calling on friends to back him in the face of an apparent long running situation of "I will lawyer up" "You are asking me/directing me to do training".

            He has not appeared for meetings previously, accusing other MPs of some type of agenda. He appears to be quite rigid in his relationships.

            Depression and focus on detail and documentation are obvious coping strategies, and his cry about long hours backs that.

            He is clever annoying and pedantic, seeming to lose the main idea in a plethora of supposed slights.

            Now he has put himself in a corner, so he is letting fly. An enquiry would be difficult as he would not take part in good faith the moment he felt it was not going in his favour.

            This is a pattern, and there may be personal issues he knows about and has yet to face imo. Sad for him and the party.

  5. Chris T 5

    Sorry again. No longer have laptop so using a phone and never text.

    A if some one wants to speak so bad they would ring. Learning stuff though which is cool.

  6. arkie 6

    Support striking workers.

    The Green Party is calling on Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) to agree to improve the pay and conditions of our professional firefighters who are on the front line risking their health and life to protect New Zealanders.

    FENZ’s failure to agree to safe staffing levels, to upgrade equipment so it is safe and reliable, and to boost wages means firefighters will be on strike today for one hour between 11am and 12pm, and again on Friday 26 August.

    “Firefighters put their health at risk to protect us, so it is crucial that we do everything we can to look after them,” says Jan Logie, Green Party spokesperson for workplace relations and safety.

    “Green Party MPs have been visiting fire stations around the country over the last few weeks. Every time, firefighters are raising the same concerns but with more examples specific to their station – dangerously long hours, unsafe equipment, not being listened to, and a lack of appropriate health support or training.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/green_party_stands_with_firefighters

    FENZ’s behaviour has been in the least deceptive if not outright dishonest. It is the antithesis of good faith.

    FENZ has employed every delay tactic it could over the past 14 months to prolong the bargaining so this has clearly been a strategy from early on. They are aborting a process that was arranged with the support of the Minister in favour of lengthy and costly litigation that may end up in non-binding recommendations and therefore only delay any prospect of resolution.

    FENZ would be better to spend the public funding and their energy on resolving the bargaining.

    The disrespect to the NZPFU membership is unfathomable.

    https://www.nzpfu.org.nz/news/fenzs-deceptive-conduct-is-unveiled/

    • Stephen D 6.1

      We’ve long thought that our first responders should be fully professional. Fire, Ambulance, and Surf Lifesaving.
      By all means provide a place for volunteers, but ensure that the majority are paid, from the public purse.

    • Visubversa 6.2

      I would be a bit more sympathetic to the Firefighter's Union if they had not worked so hard for so long not to allow women into their ranks. Thanks to the persistence of Firefighter England, they were forced by legal action to admit women. However, there has continued to be a steady campaign of harassment and discouragement against female firefighters.

      • arkie 6.2.1

        Different union.

        This strike is by the union for professional firefighters.

        You are referring to the UFBA, which is more focussed on volunteer brigades.

  7. Chris T 7

    I just find it suspicicous Ardern is to scared to have an independent inquiry when theit was the first thing the nats did with their idiot.

    You know. Given how open and transparent she promised her govt would be evers

    • Bearded Git 7.2

      The two cases are entirely different.

      Uffindell has a proven nasty bullying past that should have been enough for him not to be selected as a candidate but National was willing to ignore this. His bullying and anti women violence (“hit the road fatty”) was hidden from voters.

      Sharma admits to depression which may explain in part his recent behaviour. He seems to be very self-entitled, perhaps on the basis of his strong academic background. When power/authority/recognition didn't fall into his lap in the rough and tumble of parliament he threw his toys out of the cot. He has turned out to be a bad choice of candidate; this can happen. But none of his claims to have been bullied or other accusations against Labour MP's have been proven.

    • weka 7.3

      I just find it suspicicous Ardern is to scared to have an independent inquiry when theit was the first thing the nats did with their idiot.

      An independent inquiry into what exactly? Be specific.

      • Leighton 7.3.1

        This is what I'm struggling with Weka. I'm completely lost as to what they're meant to be enquiring into and what the substance of the complaint is. For all the noise there are not a lot of hard allegations of fact in the public domain (unlike Uffindell where it is crystal clear what he is said to have done). Do they just want an enquiry into the general culture within the Labour caucus? If so, to what end? Why stop at Labour – you may as well enquire into the caucus culture of all Parliamentary parties while you're at it. Those would be very broad terms of reference. The usual bad faith actors seem to be just yelling "Independent Enquiry" without knowing what they're really asking for, and these same people would usually be the first to rubbish Labour for wasting money on enquiries.

      • Cricklewood 7.3.2

        I'll have a crack.

        The staff relationship problems clearly evident in his office.

        How they were responded to by parliamentary service and party whips. The steps taken to resolve these and if they were made in a timely and appropriate fashion.

        Is the appropriate oversight in place for new Mps given they can suddenly find themselves in people management roles with zero practical experience.

        • Leighton 7.3.2.1

          Is it really the party whips' role to manage employment issues between their MPs and the staff assigned to them by Parliamentary Service? Genuine question. I had always thought the whips were there to keep MPs in line on political/policy issues rather than operational matters.

          Aside from that, those terms of reference sound reasonable to me although they have little if anything to do with embarrassing the prime minister so I don't think they will satisfy the usual suspects.

          • Cricklewood 7.3.2.1.1

            I think the whips have a role to play in relation to the Mp and how they deal with staff especially if the Mp is out of their depth.

            This could be providing / arranging appropriate support. I'm not sure that's something that has been handled very well in this case and no doubt many others to the detriment of the staffers who end up putting up with shitty behavior.

            Parliament is a high pressure environment but the staff dont deserve to be treated like shit and it's not ok that they can be and expected to suck it up. Nick Smith springs to mind.

            Its something we need to fix.

        • Psycho Milt 7.3.2.2

          This reflects the good old difference between "the public interest" and "what the public is interested in." What specific events need investigating?

  8. Chris T 8

    Obviously the dude knows stuff they dont want out

    So they will just keep him till the next election

  9. Chris T 9

    Fantastic. Nats crap. Never said they werent

    Now can you give a reason Ardern is refusing an independent inquiry!?

    • Incognito 9.1

      I’d start with a full psychiatric evaluation, which will raise privacy issues, of course, and one cannot be forced to cooperate against their will. So far, one person has made it abundantly clear that he’s not willing to cooperate at all, or follow due process, but that he’s rather inclined to go down his rollercoaster path. Anybody who has some experience with clinical depression (and suicide) may realise that this might be a loud cry for help – it makes me wonder if it was sufficiently known in his workplace and handled appropriately (but not necessarily by his employer(s)) and at face value the answer seems to be “No”.

      • Mac1 9.1.1

        Good, thoughtful response, Incognito. I can hear the black dog barking.

      • alwyn 9.1.2

        You are a qualified and registered Psychiatrist or Psychologist are you?

        Who did you have in mind for this evaluation by the way? Or are you suggesting it would be best to evaluate all the people accused of bullying. That is beginning to be rather a long list isn't it?

        • Incognito 9.1.2.1

          Sharma said that he slowly fell into a cycle of stress and depression. “I thought to myself about how despite listening to and assisting many of my constituents with bullying and harassment issues, I had to put a bold face up as I struggled everyday with the thought of contemplating suicide.”

          https://thespinoff.co.nz/live-updates/12-08-2022/labour-mp-gaurav-sharma-names-main-bully-within-caucus-alleges-misspending-of-taxpayer-funds

          Any other unhelpful comments you want to make to show your usual prejudice and bias as well as your lack of reading comprehension?

          Any professional, legal, medical, or other, knows better than to do a professional assessment and judgement online, least of all on a public forum, on a public figure who’s also in the midst of a controversy (aka shit storm). Clearly, you’re not in that category of professionals and more a sensationalist armchair wrestler.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.2.2

          Or are you suggesting it would be best to evaluate all the people accused of bullying. That is beginning to be rather a long list isn't it?

          MPs should model decent behaviour – will be challenging for some, but they can learn – best not to right off new MPs for a few misdemeanours – give them time.

          Former Auditor-General Appointed As Independent Commissioner For Parliamentary Standards Appointed [19 August 2022]
          As Commissioner, Mrs Provost will receive, investigate, and resolve escalated complaints about conduct of Members’ of Parliament which do not align with the Behavioural Statements for the Parliamentary Workplace.

          Parliament workplace bullying culture review: MPs – the 'staff' you can't fire [3 April 2022]
          "First of all we don't want that behaviour to happen… we're trying to influence behaviour. But also to make clear that there are consequences, and for very serious breaches – transparency."

          The Parliamentary Code Of Conduct Is A First Step, Much More Is Needed [30 July 2020]
          "The culture of Parliament is such that the very behaviours that require the code are demonstrated by MPs who fail to see its necessity. Now that the door is opened, all Parliamentarians need to walk through it and be on their best behaviour prior to the election," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International New Zealand.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I heard Sharma's interview on Newstalk ZB this morning. He gave very specific information about training MPs were given on how to avoid OIA requests, or at least control the narrative.

    If that is true, it would have to be concerning. Open and transparent government, not so much.

    • Nic the NZer 10.1

      Its true. Multiple levels of the public service right up to MPs receive training on what is able to be OIA'd and what is not. An important part of OIA legislation is staff being compliant with and understanding it.

    • Finn McCool 10.2

      I wonder if that could be considered a criminal offence of some type? I note on Three News last night Sharma handed over an alleged tape of a fellow Labour MP informing him of what went down during the caucus meeting that convened without him. So he seems to be a man who keeps good records. However, he will need to release more information to back up other claims he has made.

      • ianmac 10.2.1

        It is possible that the secret caller was trying to assist Sharma to cope/manage with his probable censure and laying it on the line as to the real probability of expulsion. Depends on the tone of the whole message.

        • Leighton 10.2.1.1

          I have very little trust in anything like this which is released as a "snippet" out of context from the whole. A bit like JLR's recorded call of Simon Bridges about donation splitting which was supposed to expose Bridges but ended up being a total own goal.

        • weka 10.2.1.2

          that's what I would guess. Without hearing it, it's hard to tell.

  11. Barfly 11

    Lol martyr complex.

    What I suspect the public should know

    a)Total number of staff employed/seconded to work in Sharma's Office versus the average of other Labour backbench MP's

    b)Number of contacts/complaints from Sharma to Parliamentary Service versus the average of other Labour backbench MP's

    c)Number of contacts/complaints from Sharma's staff to Parliamentary Service versus the average of other Labour backbench MP's

    d) The numbers of both (b) and (c) before Parliamentary Service asked for the Labour Party's whip's assistance

    e) The dates and numbers of times that Sharma was offered training and or mentorship and the number and any details of his refusals of these offers

    f) The numbers of both (b) and (c) before Parliamentary Service advised Sharma that they would no longer engage with him.

    g) The numbers of payouts, redundancies, firings and transfers of staff from Sharma's office versus the average of other Labour backbench MP's.

    h) The amount of sick day and personal time off for staff from Sharma's office versus the average of other Labour backbench MP's.

    i) Has Sharma threatened to sue? (yes) If so how many times and whom was threatened and when?

    I think that is all I can think of to ask and avoid loopholes and semantic silly buggery. The numbers should tell a compelling story. Oh one last thought – can we have more detail over the bruhaha about the storage of fridge magnets – I suspect that the miss-storage of fridge magnets is crucial to unraveling the mystery of this tragic situation.

    • Nic the NZer 11.1

      At this point Luxon must call for a bi-partisan independent committee investigation into the storage of fridge magnets.

    • dv 11.2

      OK he will want a new job.

      WHO would even think abt employing him now?

  12. Descendant Of Smith 12

    This is yet another example of why PAYE should be paid by employers directly to IRD on payday. It is the employees money – not the employers do do with what they like.

    Paying directly on payday would help ensure such perfidy did not happen. I have family who have been victims of this and student loan money deducted from their wages not being paid to IRD and have little sympathy for employers who do this. Nightmare for the employee to sort out and entirely preventable.

    Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one is the most obvious verse but in this case given the Ubereats Psalm 141:4 might be more appropriate.

    Incline not my heart to any evil thing,
    To practise wicked works with men that work iniquity:
    And let me not eat of their dainties.

    Win was required to deduct and pay PAYE to Inland Revenue monthly by the 20th of the month.

    Between November 2017 to September 2019, Win employed eight workers and deducted PAYE from their wages and filed PAYE returns accounting for the deductions from employees’ wages. But for each month within that period, except between May 2018 and July 2018, he did not pay the deducted amounts by the due date.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/129624817/christchurch-builder-pleads-guilty-to-300000-tax-evasion

  13. Mac1 13

    And we complain about beneficiaries fiddling the system. What this man did is repeated many fold in NZ to the tune of not hundreds of thousands but hundreds of millions.

    https://www.treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2015-02/tgls-marriott-slides.pdf

    .https://thestandard.org.nz/what-tax-evasion-robs-us-of-in-nz/

  14. lprent 14

    That was annoying. It appears that a disk fell out of raid on a restart after a security update. It deactivated the TS raid. Tricky to fix. Shouldn't have happened.

    Reason unknown. I will fix when I get back home.

    It may be a bit sluggish. Running rescue mode so I could turn off the problem and manually start the required services.

  15. weka 15

    anyone?

    • LibertyBelle 15.1

      Or simply renting at normal market rates using volume as a negotiating tool?

      • weka 15.1.1

        Moteliers have the leverage not the government. Besides why rent at market rates instead of buying? It’s like telling someone to keep renting instead of paying off a mortgage

        • LibertyBelle 15.1.1.1

          Because the capital required to buy motels is better put to building houses so people don't need to love in hotels!

          • weka 15.1.1.1.1

            that only makes sense if you are counting houses, rather than people needing emergency accommodation.

    • Ad 15.2

      There is plenty of good reason for Kainga Ora not to buy old motels:

      • They are not built for long stays with whole families
      • They would need massive investment to bring them up to Rental Code
      • They are largely built in the 1970s and early 1980s and hence are close to the end of their useful lives as structures, needing major maintenance on average just to make liveable let alone code-able
      • They rarely have play areas or anything resembling useful facilities for families, as one would find in a new Kainga Ora build
      • When things go really wrong as they did in Wanganui recently when such accommodation was turned into a major meth-dealing facility, the owner pretty much has to gut the entire unit. No need to have that liability.
      • Owners may want them back for when the tourists come back, which is likely
      • Waste of money better used on new builds
      • weka 15.2.1

        But people are still having to live in them now. Government has been using motels for more than half a decade.

        Given that why not own instead of pay high rent? If the building is at end of its life they can rebuild on the land they own once there isn’t such a demand on emergency housing.

        • Chess Player 15.2.1.1

          Would they buy the motels forcefully?

          Who would sell willingly?

          If they bought the motels, this would suggest they thought the problem was not temporary. It would suggest they were incapable of solving the problem via other means.

          What else are they doing that gives you confidence there will be a time when there is less demand for emergency housing?

          • weka 15.2.1.1.1

            Who would sell willingly?

            People who want to sell their motels. Go have a look in Trademe.

            If they bought the motels, this would suggest they thought the problem was not temporary. It would suggest they were incapable of solving the problem via other means.

            or, it suggests that solving the housing crisis is a long term problem (thanks FJK) with no quick fixes and that we will need emergency housing for some time to come.

            What else are they doing that gives you confidence there will be a time when there is less demand for emergency housing?

            Not a lot. I don't think Labour can solve the housing crisis. They do do way less damage than Nact, and set us on the right path though.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 15.2.1.2

          This type of 'housing' is very far from ideal, and I don't know how many motels might be involved, but any Govt motel ownership wouldn't survive a NAct Govt. Imho, purchasing motels would provide a future opportunity to deliver public assets (at bargain basement prices) into private hands – NAct have form.

    • Sabine 15.3

      A whole lot of them are old, run down, and need a lot of maintenance. Also if as a government you wanted to be seen as managing a temporary crisis buying a shoddy old motel as permanent housing for our homeless might not be the right thing to do.

      But Govt did buy some in Rotorua

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/sold-government-pays-81m-for-boulevard-motel-to-house-homeless/WBRLIMDOR5BDLCE5T3EZGJMFX4/

      and is seeking to lease even more spaces as there this homeless crisis is going to be permanent for a long long time to come.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/rotorua-motels-for-more-than-1000-homeless-submissions-open-for-resource-consent-applications/LHJQANMEK7BI4MARU7IL2LXCK4/

      What i would like to know is, why the government not simply rent Houses of the market and put homeless family into them. Even that would be cheaper then 3500 per week for a 3 bedroom motel unit that this women found – whilst in labour – to house her and her kids.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/bay-of-plenty/300663775/pregnant-cancer-sufferer-goes-into-labour-in-work-and-income-office-told-to-find-own-accommodation

      It all seems somewhat barbaric.

      • weka 15.3.1

        it was that article that prompted the question (rest of the piece is totally barbaric, still processing).

        A whole lot of them are old, run down, and need a lot of maintenance.

        Yes, but we already expect people to live in them, so that's not an argument against buying the motels.

        Also if as a government you wanted to be seen as managing a temporary crisis buying a shoddy old motel as permanent housing for our homeless might not be the right thing to do.

        Again, yes, but it's not for permanent housing, it's emergency housing. Everyone knows the crisis isn't going to be over soon. Going to get worse if Buller and Nelson are anything to go by.

        • Sabine 15.3.1.1

          i guess the argument that goes against buying them is

          a. is it legal? These places are for short term occupation, Fenton Street in Rotorua is zoned short term occupation for motels. The current situation is actually in breach of council bylaw.

          b. is it safe/hygenic etc – we had one motel burn down total, and fires are quite common.

          c. how many people can you shove into one bedroom units and for how long before issues arise, and we have motels in Rotorua were private security don't work anymore, these motels have police stationed outdoors pretty much 24/7

          also what happens say if a fire breaks out and lifes are lost. Who is responsible for the death? Council? Management of the Motel? Government? Do we care?

          IF buying Motels is the best we can do, then we have given up. Consider as well that 25% of a benefit is taxed right away to pay for these hovels. Maybe settling homeless with housing debt to be repaid at 5 bucks a week was actually the better option. But Do we care?

          https://www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/our-council/news/news?item=id:2hw4fjprm1cxbyncy6py

  16. observer 16

    I don't have much to add to the discussion on Sharma, beyond what Sanctuary so accurately described above, and the point already made that he is hilariously available for numerous media appearances now, but still too busy to be available for the PM or the caucus.

    I'd just add that it's always useful to step outside the incestuous political bubble where commentators and us poli-geeks reside. If anyone thinks that the public care about this story any more, they should really go outside and meet the public.

    He'll continue to make headlines, of course. Public tantrums by an MP always will. But the public are already bored and soon the media will be too.

    The next election will be about many important issues. Gaurav Sharma won't be one of them. Ask Jami-Lee Ross. Or Brendan Horan (who?) or Gordon Copeland (who?) or Vernon Tava (who?) or … the other ones so memorable, nobody can remember.

    • observer 16.1

      And for those desperate to keep making the false equivalence, here's a concise summary from the reporter who broke the Uffindel story:

      The Uffindell allegations were substantiated by five witnesses, put to him, and the story checked by lawyers before publishing as opposed to Guarav’s allegations which were tossed into the news cycle completely unchecked … in an opinion piece

      https://twitter.com/kirsty_johnston/status/1560359241491173376

  17. LibertyBelle 17

    There seems to be some serious sensitivity here to any suggestion that the Labour Party might actually share some blame in the Sharma revelations.

    The seems to be a blind acceptance by some of the PM's assertion that there is no bullying within the party, that the fate of Sharma was not determined at a secret meeting she called and which was only revealed when a Labour MP rather foolishly sent Sharma a picture of the Zoom.

    So maybe its time to change the subject, and let the Ombudsman do his work.

    • Nic the NZer 17.1

      Apparently Dr Sharma is doing fine now, and is no longer feeling under stress.

    • observer 17.2

      The Ombudsman is doing exactly what he should. A letter to ask for clarification.

      Of course, the Ombudsman is independent, but if/when the Ombudsman reports "no issue here", there will be a tiresome right wing chorus of "No, not that wasn't independent, we only want the kind of independence that tell us what we want to hear".

    • Shanreagh 17.3

      The Ombudsman is looking at the issue of how OIAs are responded to and seeking assurances around this. He is not looking at the Sharma issue.

      If I were the Ombudsman I too would be seeking this assurance after Sharma's complete misunderstanding of the Policy and the legislation around OIAs. This would have formed part of a routine induction just as it does when you join the PS.

      His lack of understanding about how Parliament/Govt/legislation works is clear from his statements about what he was told. Very mixed up. Clearly he had/has difficulty with this and seems to have difficulty with nuance.

      Mind you if he is suffering from depression/stress etc as he has said coping with nuance and things that are not black & white is usually difficult and thinking often becomes a bit rigid. That is giving him the benefit of the doubt that stress is/was the cause of his inability to manage his staff or accept his limitations.

      I have the feeling though, based on his seeming inability to reflect, (that we have seen) that perhaps there is some sort of personality problem or tendencies as well.

  18. Chess Player 18

    I think the only thing that will put the Gaurav Sharma thing to bed is to have a full, independent and transparent inquiry.

    Otherwise this will keep going on for ages.

    Ardern must be regretting not going straight to an inquiry, as opposed to trying to smooth things over.

    The boils needs to be lanced.

    • observer 18.1

      See my comment at 16.

      The public have put it to bed. You may want to keep it awake, but please don't pretend the old "just asking questions" line is sincere.

    • Incognito 18.2

      I've asked you before, are you fishing or baiting? Be careful what you might catch or attract here.

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